Each Friday, PhocusWire dissects and debates an industry trend or new development covered on our site that week.
This week we bring you the full archive from the first six months of 2020 – here in one place.
The first few weeks of 2020 gave us little indication as to how the rest of the first half of the year would eventually unravel.
It has been, in short, a tumultuous period in the history of travel, tourism and hospitality.
The Sounding Off series is PhocusWire’s weekly spot to vet the trends that others are talking about and add some perspective beyond the hyperbole, based on a quote from an article published here during that particular week.
Here are the articles from the first six months from 2020.
- Regulate for sustainability as we do for safety and security – “Tourism is one of the most lightly regulated industries on earth.”
- Hipmunk’s demise is a lesson to all – “Concur TripLink with TripIt Pro is the preferred solution for customers who aren’t a fit for Concur Travel, an online booking tool.”
- The challenge of reducing travel in the travel industry – “It’s quite a difficult conversation to have, to promote a reduction in travel, when you’re in the travel industry.”
- Try the shiny new tech but never expect results – “Unlike the death of Kodak (digital cameras, phones) or Blockbuster (Netflix) it wasn’t one single event, shift in the market or a rival company that killed the native iPad app; it was a collective slaying with a few ringleaders.”
- Safety should be at the forefront of improving business travel – “We can and should do better – especially in the age of advanced technology – to support all employees as they travel as part of their jobs.”
- Startups should consider giving something away for the greater good – “We were absolutely the best at taking capital in the marketplace and willing to give up significant pieces of our company to do so. I still think that is a strategy that a lot of startup companies miss.”
- Startups should think big but think realistically – “It turns out it’s actually extremely difficult to get enough people through the funnel when you don’t have many visitors coming to your site organically through social media or SEO.”
- Do consumers want a travel subscription? Maybe… – “Younger generations are really prepared to pay for travel on a subscription basis.”
- Coronavirus could trigger the travel marketing overhaul many want – “Google’s travel ad spend was likely growing at around 10% but travel revenue should fall to negative 6.7% in the first quarter and negative 10.2% in the second quarter.”
- All that talk about being brilliant communicators should be real – “What are people asking when they call? What fears can you allay up front in writing and make them findable in search on your website.”
- Rules are there to be broken – “I think after the coronavirus, nothing will be back as normal.”
- Travel bailouts are not simple tasks to manage – “It is of utmost importance that the European Commission and Member States include exceptional measures to assist the whole industry.”
- In a post-coronavirus world, it’s trains before planes – “Domestic travel will recover first (there’s no border control), and for most countries that means taking a train.”
- Google won’t change – it’ll need its biggest customers post-coronavirus – “One of the big consequences of cementing Google at the top of the funnel is that it creates a structural bias for a very specific type of marketing.”
- The right strategy can alter a brand’s course – “Losing a few hosts is probably good for Airbnb.”
- It’s unknown where tours and activities fit in the distribution mix – “The main issue for [big businesses] will be: Will they continue to be as interested in tours and activities as they were before?”
- Survival of the fittest is a mental game – “I’m seeing some ballsy behavior by young companies not willing to give up.”
- There is no single metric for success right now (there are many) – “There was a metric that defined success before COVID – that metric no longer exists.”
- The unspoken reality is that demand may collapse – “I just think this whole idea that the world has changed forever and that human behavior is fundamentally now going to be changed forever – once there are treatments and a vaccine for this – is wrong.”
- Be careful where you place your marketing bets – “If you think you can beat Tripadvisor, GetYourGuide or Expedia on SEO or SEM, you’re just missing the big picture.”
- What role does the industry play in right vs. wrong? – “We don’t believe it’s our role in the industry to come up with what’s right and what’s wrong.”
- COVID-19 protocols aren’t forever – but should they be? – “I suspect [enhanced cleaning protocols] will not necessarily be forever, but it will be for a period of time, probably as long as the virus is any way relevant to decisions we are collectively making about travel.”
- State-backed or multi-brand travel projects rarely work – “When governments or even startup online travel agencies say the technology is cheap, that is not the only cost you have. You have to be known, the consumer does not know you exist and they are not going to use you.”
- Travel retailing’s time has come – “Where retailing had been about revenue optimization and conversion, it is now about demand generation – getting people back into airline seats and in hotel rooms at all.”
- Risky startup investments now have a new risk attached – “[Investing in a crisis] slightly adjusts the risk of the transaction or perceived risk, and as a result any deal would need to be done on a risk-adjusted basis, and that’s the element that took a bit more negotiation.”
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